We spoke to over 500 mamas about breast pumping… And this is what we learned.
Pumping isn’t easy. It takes work. It requires commitment.
We’ve all heard this before. We’ve seen pamphlets. We’ve read articles. We’ve liked Facebook posts. But, having a conversation with a mom about her nursing journey made us sit up and listen. Intently.
After all, mamas know best, right?
Let’s dive right into it…
First, the basic question: How many times per day do most moms pump, on average? Our survey gave us these results.
Most mothers pump at least 2–4 times a day. Speaking of, have you ever wondered if pumping is anywhere close to what most stock images indicate them to be?
(Hint, hint: It’s not.)
We were curious. So, we asked close to 600 mamas to tell us the top three things they do while pumping.
Apart from the expected responses like watching the television or using the phone, these turned out to be the most frequent activities moms had to engage in.
It’s true. Most mothers spend most of their time massaging their breasts for full expression. (That’s where we step in, folks; but more on that later.)
Next, we wondered where these moms used their pumps most often. The top response was what we expected:
They pump at work.
Now, this is where things get interesting… And a little worrisome.
Breast massage is very common while pumping. So if most moms pump at work, the question remains:
How to pump at work effectively?
This is what a couple of moms had to say:
“[I] pump in a pumping room (closet) at work… Even with a hands free bra I find it difficult to do anything while pumping because I have to stimulate let down myself.”
“[I pump] in mothers rooms at our offices, in bathrooms, in random offices. Occasionally in a car in the passenger seat. Before my office had a mother’s room, I had to use a supply closet that didn’t have a lock. I’m usually using my hands for compression, so [I’m] rarely doing much else.”
These moms deserve better, don't they?
So, we asked them the next obvious question that came to mind: What do they dislike most about how their pumping experience?
“It would be great if my hands could be free while pumping so I could multi-task, but I don’t like my hands free bra. It takes a long time to get on and makes pumping less comfortable.”
“Compression is key. It’s the only thing missing from all the other pumps.”
Awkward, time-consuming, and no compression… Sigh.
But, there has to be something they like about it too, right? Right?
After we got past the first few ‘nope, nothing’ kind of responses, we discovered that there are a few things about their pumps that moms wouldn’t give up… Like increased mobility, greater freedom, and more milk.
“For my personal pump, I like that I can take it outside of the house and pump on the go.”
“I felt like my pump gave me my freedom. I was able to continue nursing while returning to work and engaging in other activities. As much as I hated my pump, I loved my pump!”
Hm, so this was enlightening, wasn’t it?
Turns out, that even though pumping isn’t easy, it has made lives easier.
The problem then, we would think, is not that pumping requires work — it is the technological gap that has not yet made this experience more comfortable and hassle-free for mothers.
Breastfeeding technologies are outdated, compression and breast massage products are non-existent, and pumping (especially at work) is still a clunky and difficult task.